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Asphalt resurfacing is a part and parcel of maintaining asphalt driveways and pavements. The height of the pavement tends to increase each time it is resurfaced. This, in turn, leads to drainage problems over time.
To prevent this from happening and to restore the original form and function of the pavement, asphalt contractors resort to removing the top layer of asphalt. What you have left behind from this process of grinding and removing the top layer of asphalt pavement is called asphalt millings.
Asphalt millings by themselves are great materials for driveways, parking lots, and other applications. In this short read, we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions about asphalt millings.
Are asphalt millings driveways affordable?
Asphalt millings is a material that is recycled by removing the top layer from other asphalt projects. As a result, the cost of a driveway paved with this material is a lot more cost-effective than if you were to use all new materials.
If you were to buy asphalt millings for a two-car driveway, the material alone would cost you only between $60 and $240. On average, including installation, expect to pay between $2 and $5 per square foot.
Can I earn LEED credits by using it?
Asphalt millings is a much more environmentally friendly material for driveways, especially in comparison to materials like gravel. Since it is almost entirely made of recycled materials from other paving projects, the environmental impact is reduced greatly. So if you’re working towards a LEED certification, using recycled asphalt millings is a great way to earn LEED credits. In the case of commercial applications, this eco-friendly material can even get you some tax breaks.
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Are asphalt millings driveways easy to maintain? How does it compare to gravel?
Asphalt millings as a material are very durable and weather resistant. It can handle all kinds of weather vagaries and works especially well in cold temperatures, snow, and ice.
Asphalt gravel prevents the formation of ice by helping snow melt faster. In addition, there is practically zero maintenance.
The material is such that the surface of your driveway will harden over time, eliminating the need to periodically resurface, repave or replace it.
Gravel, on the other hand, is unstable and loose. It keeps scattering and reducing in-depth, eventually also leading to potholes. Gravel tends to get into ruts and is a lot more difficult to plow. Driving on recycled asphalt pavements also produces less dust than driving on a gravel driveway does. This is why asphalt millings trump traditional gravel driveways.
What is the process to harden the material?
Here’s how you harden an asphalt millings driveway.
- Make sure you have all the necessary permissions from local authorities and your HNOA to use asphalt millings as a material.
- The topsoil will need to be properly graded to ensure adequate drainage. It should be such that water can run off either side of the driveway or to the bottom.
- Use a drum roller compactor to compact the base soil.
- Cover the compacted base soil with a jagged road base mix that allows for proper drainage. Allow it to settle for a few days.
- In the meantime, evaluate the millings and emulsion with your asphalt millings supplier. None of the millings pieces should be larger than 2 inches. If the asphalt mix is coarse, the emulsion percentage should be 2.5 to 3 inches to ensure a cold mixture of asphalt. If the material is fine, the emulsion percentage should be between 3 to 3.5.
- Once the screened high-quality millings and emulsion has been mixed properly in a pug mill, the homogenous mixture created is then transported to the site.
- The paving company may use an asphalt spreader or paver to lay around a 4-inch mix on the subsoil.
- The millings will then be compacted using a 25-ton pneumatic roller first, and then a double drum vibratory steel roller.
- Finally, the millings will be sealed using a chip-seal mix.